Azzopardi phenomenon

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The Azzopardi phenomenon, or Azzopardi effect, is the presence of DNA in necrotic venules.[1] It can occur in small cell carcinomas and in some high-grade malignant neoplasms.[1][2] The effect is well known in diagnostic surgical pathology.[3] The phenomenon is named after the pathologist, John G. Azzopardi.[4][5][6]

Azzopardi was able to correctly characterize the effect as due to DNA; it had been thought previously but incorrectly to be calcium.[4] Necrosis results in the release of cellular DNA, which adheres in patches to the walls of blood vessels, showing as intensely basophilic material on hematoxylin-eosin stain.[1]

The Azzopardi phenomenon is distinguished from the similar basophilic hematoxylin body.(add refs)


  1. ^ a b c Chan JK (2014). "The wonderful colors of the hematoxylin-eosin stain in diagnostic surgical pathology". Int. J. Surg. Pathol. 22 (1): 12–32. doi:10.1177/1066896913517939. PMID 24406626. 
  2. ^ Peng SL, Cheng CN, Chang KC (2007). "Burkitt lymphoma with Azzopardi phenomenon". Arch. Pathol. Lab. Med. 131 (5): 682–3. doi:10.1043/1543-2165(2007)131[682:BLWAP]2.0.CO;2. PMID 17488151. 
  3. ^ Takei H, Adesina AM, Bhattacharjee MB (2007). "The Azzopardi phenomenon". Arch. Pathol. Lab. Med. 131 (4): 518. doi:10.1043/1543-2165(2007)131[518:TAP]2.0.CO;2. PMID 17425376. 
  4. ^ a b Pritt BS, Cooper K (2003). "The Azzopardi phenomenon". Arch. Pathol. Lab. Med. 127 (9): 1231. doi:10.1043/1543-2165(2003)127<1231:TAP>2.0.CO;2. PMID 12951999. 
  5. ^ Vazmitel M, Michal M, Kazakov DV (2007). "Merkel cell carcinoma and Azzopardi phenomenon". Am J Dermatopathol. 29 (3): 314–5. doi:10.1097/DAD.0b013e318033901b. PMID 17519638. 
  6. ^ Azzopardi JG (1959). "Oat-cell carcinoma of the bronchus". J Pathol Bacteriol. 78: 513–9. doi:10.1002/path.1700780218. PMID 13795444. 

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